Can you believe it’s already been a year since our inaugural COTY awards? Well it’s true. Last year at this time, we sat down and drew up an 8-category competition of the year’s best new cars. The category winners were as diverse as Apple’s App Store but only one car could walk away with the overall crown. In 2008, the Honda FCX Clarity appeared to have taken the glory for Japan, but then the Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4 clubbed the Honda in the back of the head and snatched the title for Italy (and indirectly Germany).
As you will recall from last year, the winner of each category need not be the fastest in a straight line, nor on a circuit, nor have the best brakes, nor the sexiest styling. The winner of each category is the most desirable car among the nominees. It’s intangible and ephemeral, yes, but it’s also why we love cars. Also, considering the economic events of the last 12 months, the winner should also be conscious of the market’s more frugal buyers. Or at least those who want to appear to be more frugal in these times of penny pinching.
This year, the number of categories has swollen to nine, adding Concept of the Year to the list. The nominees were determined by our collective staff and whittled down to just one by closing our eyes and pointing to the list. Or maybe we deliberated until the sweat stung our eyes, who knows. If you’re wondering why cars like the new Ferrari 458 Italia, Lexus LFA, and the Mercedes SLS AMG aren’t on the list, it’s because they weren’t on sale in 2009. But watch out for those three heavyweights in 2010.
Without further ado, we present the CarEnvy Cars of the Year for 2009.
For your viewing pleasure, we bring you CarEnvy’s COTY 2008, the Lamborghini Gallardo LP 560-4. In the snowy Italian Alps. Tiff Needel of Fifth Gear fame puts on a clinic for how to drive in conditions we Canadians are all too familiar with. Hopefully films like these will encourage kids to ask for backyard ice tracks instead of ice rinks, turning Canada into a Finland of the West.
It’s December – actually the first December for CarEnvy, and that gives us a unique opportunity: we can be more detached and objective than any other site or magazine because we haven’t driven any of the contenders here. While you might think it odd that we’re giving awards to cars we haven’t driven, you probably haven’t driven them either, and following the industry is beyond an obsession for us so we do have a good idea of what’s good, what’s bad, and what we want. We here at CarEnvy don’t have the luxury of manufacturer invites to press days, but that hasn’t stopped us yet. When the day comes for us to attend such press events, we’ll give you the perspective of the youngest, most Canadian, and most honest individuals around. Until we’re in the shoes of Jeremy, James, and Richard, you’re going to have to make do with our opinions as armchair analysts. Besides, you don’t have to drive a car to want it more than anything.
CarEnvy is about just that, lusting after gorgeous sheetmetal and intoxicating engine sounds. So we’ve decided to find you the most desirable and important cars to hit the streets in 2008 – the Cars Of The Year (COTY). This is not from the perspective of which car is the best to drive or which one handles the best, because we have little first-hand experience. This is a list of winners (and contenders) from eight separate categories based on which one we want the most. Beers were consumed and hours were spent discussing which car would make us the envy of our neighbours and which would have us nursing a semi just by sitting in the drivers seat.
The criteria are simple. The winning car in each category must
Be very desirable
Be more desirable than its competitors without regard for practicality or price (unless needed to break a tie)
Be sold in Canada in 2008 (but not if #1 and #2 are overwhelming)
Be cars. We aren’t called TruckEnvy or SUVEnvy.
Madames et Monsieurs, put your hands together for the inaugural CarEnvy COTY Awards.